Top 10 What We Do in the Shadows Moments
BAT! What We Do in the Shadows has morphed into a comedic sensation after just two seasons. What started out as a mockumentary film starring Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, and Jonny Brugh transformed into a TV counterpart that took the US by storm.
Based on the same concept as its predecessor, What We Do in the Shadows centers on a group of vampire roommates living (and biting) on Staten Island. Kayvan Novak stars as Nandor the Relentless along with Matt Berry as Laszlo Cravensworth, Natasia Demetriou as Nadja, Harvey Guillen as Guillermo de la Cruz (Nandor’s familiar), and Mark Proksch as Colin Robinson.
The series pokes delightful fun at Hollywood vampire tropes with dazzling performances from the main cast. To me, the main draw was my love of the movie. Additionally, Clement and Waititi were spearheading the TV series. There was little doubt in my mind that the humor and style would deviate from the source material. Not to mention, Matt Berry is one of my favorite comedic performers out there.
Besides the funny bits, What We Do in the Shadows is packed with a ton of heart. It explores being different and trying to blend in with the norm. However, these vamps will never succumb to society’s definition of “normal.” They’ll always wear that dreadfully unlucky hat and don that magnificent cape. Avoid Colin Robinson like the plague. Chat with the Nadja Doll. Maybe even adopt the persona “Jackie Daytona,” a regular human bartender, and hightail it out of town every once in a while.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite moments from What We Do in the Shadows. Peruse at your own peril.
Werewolf Fight and Office Romance
Episode three of Season 1 blessed us with an appearance from Flight of the Conchord‘s Arj Barker. Barker portrayed the Werewolf Leader, essentially filling the role of Rhys Darby‘s “Werewolves not Swearwolves” character from the movie. The Staten Island vampires found their already tenuous truce with the local werewolf pack to be on thin ice. Energy vampire Colin Robinson embarked on a new office romance with Evie (Vanessa Bayer), an emotional vampire. Naturally, energy and emotion were expended in equal measure.
The werewolf versus vampire fight is nothing short of spectacular. It’s a comedy gold mine. One would think that seasoned warriors such as our core vamp group would be better at fighting.
Baron Hits the Town
Doug Jones portrayed everyone’s favorite elder vampire, Baron Afanas, in one of the best episodes of Season 1. The baron wants a night out on the town to experience everything the New World has to offer.
Thus, our vamps show him a good time in the form of a karaoke bar, a nightclub, a carnival, and copious amounts of drug-laden human blood. The bit wherein Afanas projectile vomits pizza never fails to make me cackle. Everyone brings their comedic A-game in this outing.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I left out Guillermo inadvertently murdering the baron by flooding the apartment with sunlight. It’s an act that catalyzes the high-stakes (pun intended) action in the following episode.
Not only do we get cameos from Waititi, Clement, and Brugh in “The Trial,” but we’re blessed with a vampire smorgasbord of famous appearances. Kristen Schaal, Evan Rachel Wood, Danny Trejo, Wesley Snipes, Paul Reubens, Dave Bautista, and Tilda Swinton are all members of an ancient vampire council that strove to decide the fate of our core vamps after Baron Afanas’s murder. The fact that What We Do in the Shadows managed to snag a wildly well-known, prolific performer such as Tilda Swinton still blows my mind.
One of my favorite sequences in this episode is hands down the opening lyrical dance courtesy of the vampire council. You can see Waititi, Clement, and Brugh briefly as their characters Viago, Vladimir, and Deacon, respectively. I love a good crossover!
Who doesn’t want to watch an in-depth, intricately detailed mass vampire orgy? Laszlo, Nadja, and Nandor decorated their rustic flat for a night of debauchery and dirty, sensuous escapism. Nadja discovered that Laszlo has an extensive smut film career that spanned decades.
Undoubtedly, that’s the highlight of the episode for me — watching footage of Matt Berry awkwardly doling out dialogue as Laszlo the vampire while attempting to be “sexy.” Unfortunately, Laszlo’s insecurity regarding his smut catalog and Nadja’s tepid reception of it ruined the orgy.
But it’s okay. We got to see Laszlo Cravensworth for the sensual thespian that he is.
Guillermo Learns of His Lineage and Church Flames
Guillermo spent the vast majority of Season 1 pining after immortality. He longed for his master, Nandor, to turn him into a vampire. But what happens when you discover that you’re related to historic vampire slayer Van Helsing? That’ll surely drive a stake into any master/familiar relationship.
Nandor, Laszlo, and Nadja attended a funeral for the former’s living descendant inside a church. That scene cracks me up. They’re clearly smoldering and on the brink of bursting into flames because, you know, vampires.
The dangling morsel in the form of Guillermo’s newfound discovery regarding his lineage plays a vital role in Season 2.
Wallace the Necromancer
Necromancers get a bad rap. Just ask Wallace (Benedict Wong). Wallace was asked to revive Nadja and Laszlo’s very much dead familiar, Topher (Haley Joel Osment). Topher came back as a zombie, which is totally normal and not at all unusual. Laszlo was reticent to trust Wallace the necromancer. I suppose that mistrust is well-placed. After all, he was on his phone during the spellcasting.
Wallace was a hysterical addition to our supernatural crew. I was hoping he’d stick around. Since we know that he enlists Topher’s labor for his underground workshop, we may see Wallace again. Or not. Benedict Wong’s undoubtedly busy being a Marvel superhero.
Sometimes energy vampires have all the power. Colin Robinson’s promotion at work elicited a power-hungry response from our typically dry energy vamp. “With great power comes great responsibility,” Colin Robinson.
He could simply drain people by walking past them! He could fly! He could seamlessly grow a full head of luscious hair! Colin Robinson became too powerful. If left unchecked, he would’ve taken over the world with little to no effort. Colin Robinson supremacy!
I hope that a Colin Robinson world is one rife with beige cardigans and crisp slacks.
Laszlo and Jim’s Duel
Mark Hamill‘s guest appearance on What We Do in the Shadows may be one of my favorite celebrity spots of all time. Not only that, but his character’s name was Jim the Vampire. Indisputably one of the most boring supernatural monikers of all time.
Additionally, “On the Run” boasts my favorite Laszlo scenes. Jackie Daytona, a regular human bartender, managed to throw Jim off his scent by sporting a toothpick. Jackie Daytona from Arizona finally duked it out with Jim the Vampire over an outstanding debt from the 1970s.
And, as to be expected, there was a lovely nod to Star Wars in the form of a pool cue duel between the vamps. They looked like lightsabers! This nerd was tickled by the homage.
Nadja and Laszlo’s Human Music Group
Nadja and Laszlo’s Human Music Group is comprised of not humans playing, well, music. The name is obviously the perfect foil for those who ever doubted the couple’s mortality or lack thereof. Laszlo and Nadja raised their musical act from the dead. Colin Robinson assisted them in scoring a gig at an open mic night. We learned that many of today’s popular songs started out as old-school shanties and ditties composed by Laszlo himself. Someone should sue!
I would buy an album from these two. Matt Berry is also an accomplished musician in real life, so it only feels apropos to put his talent to good use.
Guillermo the Vampire Slayer
Our core four was lured into an exclusive and lavish vampire event under the guise of a night of eclectic theater. Unfortunately, Vladimir captured them and sentenced them to death for the murder of Baron Afanas. Of course, we know that Guillermo accidentally killed the ancient vampire.
Later, Guillermo swooped in and proceeded to slaughter every single antagonistic vamp in the blink of an eye. He did it all to save his roommates. This was an interesting way for Nandor, Nadja, and Laszlo to learn that Guillermo has been covertly training as a vampire hunter all season long.
This is such a badass moment. Guillermo de la Cruz, you are The Chosen One. Sorry, Buffy.
What are your favorite moments from What We Do in the Shadows? Let us know!